Pittsburgh Newborn Session: Getting Comfortable with your Photographer

It was an absolute treat to photograph this new family. I know this couple from church and I am blessed to witness their family grow.

mom, dad, and baby on bed

For every session, I try to identify a take-away that I can offer to anyone reading my blog that might be helpful to apply to their next session. Usually it’s clearly titled after the colon in the title of the post. And for this session, I really felt the biggest benefit I noticed is that this new mom and dad were totally comfortable with me. Now they have an advantage in knowing me from somewhere else, and hopefully have the sense that I will support them and encourage them in this exciting and sometimes challenging thing called parenthood. But I want the same for every family I photograph and I try to show my support and encouragement throughout the session. So what I’m getting at is when my clients trust that I support them, they can relax and that is very evident in their photos.

baby talk

We spend so much time admiring our babies, so it’s natural to spend a lot of time doing just that during a newborn session. And I think it shows the love that a parent has when they welcome a child into the world.

admiring their son

We also spend lots of time lounging on beds or couches because it’s comfortable when holding a baby.

family portrait

This session took place in November on a mild day, so we were able to get outside and get some fresh air.

family portrait outside

Its so sweet seeing babies look into their parents’ eyes.

looking into mama's eyes

And when the baby turns to look toward the sound of my camera’s shutter, I’m always happy to get a bright-eyed close-up.

baby's close-up

This dad is pretty smitten.

father and son

And this little guy is getting lots of love from his mama.

mama kissing baby

Love this shot of them walking in the alley behind their home!

going for a walk

Baby Portraits: Six Months Old and Celebrating!

This session is very close to my heart — my niece just turned six months old and we got to celebrate with a photo session. And while I may be pretty biased, this is one gorgeous baby girl!

close-up at six months

And here’s my sister, an awesome mom to her three little girls.

mama and baby

I love this photo because baby girl is so proud as she looks over at her sisters while standing!

baby standing up

It’s so much fun to photograph a new skill, like sitting up.

baby girl sitting up

When she’s not gazing into daddy’s face, she’s looking over his shoulder at mommy.

daddy and baby

My sister’s home has a lovely entry with lots of natural light, and the girls liked sitting perched up high on the stairs.

sisters

This little lady is getting ready to crawl!

tummy time

The big sisters were ready for their turn—and they know how to pose!

big sister pose

I love her sweet and sassy ways!

sweet and sassy 5-year old

This last one might be a favorite. As a mom, I just love seeing my boys together in photos. And I love seeing my nieces all together too! So much love in one split second!

sisters hug

Oakland Family Portraits: Walking Between Locations Gives Kids a Break

When I used to think of photographing in Oakland, engagement sessions or weddings come to mind. But after this recent family session there, I really love this area by the Cathedral of Learning for families. This family didn’t have any ties to the University of Pittsburgh, but recently moved here from another big city and appreciate a more urban setting. We started at steps of the Carnegie Library.

family portrait by the Carnegie Library

The beauty of the architecture and landscaping offered lovely lines and bright splashes of color for this portrait of these sweet little sisters.

little girls by the garden

And then they wanted to switch positions and this little sister planted a kiss on her sister’s cheek.

little sisters kiss

This whole session took place on the corner below the Cathedral, so we could just walk from location to location. These little girls did so well too!
Their mama was wise to choose this location knowing that moving around would keep them happy.

family walking along the path

We are blessed to have such beautiful scenery in Pittsburgh. I think this is my favorite shot of the family.

family portrait by the fountain

And we planned to stop at the PNC Carousel in Schenley Oval to complete our session. It was a great reward for the girls too!

family by the carousel

I love photographing clients on this carousel, but the best shots are really right before and right after the ride, because with the up and down and spinning movement, getting a shot where everyone is visible can be tricky.

on the carousel in Schenley Oval

Carousel rides are a good end to a session.

Pittsburgh Weddings: Five Fillies Farm and Westminster College

This is charming couple featured on my homepage, at least until I update my portfolio this winter. But I have been really looking forward to photographing their wedding! We met in Pittsburgh for their engagement session and their wedding took place much farther north from there on the lovely Five Fillies Farm. They picked this venue so they could bring along their four-legged fur baby, Zeus. And it was a picturesque setting to boot!

farm-wedding-pennsylvania

We headed to nearby Westminster College for their portraits after the ceremony. It was a five-minute drive and had lovely old buildings and lots of greenery. And some of my favorite shots were the ones that came most naturally. I should explain—but first, here’s one disclaimer: if I was getting married tomorrow, I’d probably have a Pinterst board. So I’m not going to hate on Pinterest. But I will say, it slows down the process when you’re trying to recreate an image in lighting and composition with two different people in a different location. So when I have wedding Pinterest board, I plan ahead and choose a few shots that are achievable in the given time and location and start with them first. Then once we’ve accomplished the couple’s requests, I move on to some light posing that seems to come more naturally, like suggesting the couple walks hand-in-hand, or sits next to one-another looking into each other’s eyes. Without a photo for reference, couples move more naturally and are more confident when following simple directions.

Westminster-College-Wedding-Photos

Their reception was lots of fun and full of dancing, but my personal favorite was the mobile wood fired pizza vendor, Earth Wheel and Fire. It was delicious and such a fun addition to their menu. And at sunset, they were willing to step out for a photo in the brilliant purple and pink sky as the sun set on the farm. And then back to the barn for more dancing! Congratulations to this happy couple!

Five-Fillies-Farm-Wedding-Reception

Family Portraits and Overcast Skies—These are a few of my favorite things!

I love shooting in overcast skies, especially family portraits, oh and I love The Sound of Music too. I keep finding myself using lyrics from that show in blog posts. But overcast skies are where it’s at—even lighting on everyone which is super helpful in keeping up with little ones on the move, because I don’t have to put much thought into adjusting for changing light. Because of this, I don’t think I could ever move away from Pittsburgh’s overcast climate! While we have a lot of cloudy days here, you can’t count on the weather. So whenever those cloudy days coincide with my sessions, I count it as a blessing!

family portrait in the woods

brother and sister on a tree stump

The sun had started setting and the skies started to clear, so it was the perfect timing for a portrait backlit by sunset.

family portrait at sunset

I love seeing kids be kids and breaking up the posed shots with fun action shots can be so good for keeping kids interested!

kids blowing bubbles

little girl portrait

big brother portrait

We were on a mission to get some more fall foliage in before the sun set completely. I love how this little one is pulling her family along as a fearless leader!

walking family holding hands

We made it in time to capture a few shots before the sun went down.

family and fall foliage

I really like this one of the four of them on the blanket. What a handsome family they are!

family on blanket